Another issue of Student Life and another expression of overheated outrage at the recent decisions made by Bon Appétit to conduct business in an ethical manner. Invariably, these arguments are all alike, little more than childish temper tantrums veiled in the high rhetoric of right and privileges.
They brought tomatoes back the other day. This fruit’s return made me realize that I never really understood why it was taken away in the first place. That made me think that there are really a lot of things that go on that I don’t understand. Here are some of them. Let’s start with the tomatoes. Someone somewhere was upset because the tomato vendors Bon Appétit was buying from were not Fair Trade certified.
Across campus, students can be heard rejoicing the imminent and long-awaited return of tomatoes to campus. Now these same students have a new food item to miss: bananas. Students began to notice the absence of this fruit staple after spring break. After a switchover last year, Dining Services has offered students only Fair Trade bananas, but as of late has run into problems with the vendor.
“So now we’re back in tomato land,” said Nadeem Siddiqui, resident district manager of Bon Appétit. After months without tomatoes from Dining Services, tomatoes will be sold again by the end of next week. During the winter growing season, the only source of available tomatoes was in Florida, where many companies were not paying their tomato pickers sufficient salaries in the view of Dining Services.
The campus-wide tomato ban has taken another unexpected turn at Washington University after the Aramark Corporation offered to discontinue the sale of tomatoes on campus but lost backing from Students for Fair Trade.
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